If you’re aim is to successfully grow and market your small business, first you’ll need to attract and then work to retain a large base of satisfied customers. Marketing puts a large emphasis on the value of the customer to the business, and consist of two, grounded and guiding principles, according to SBA.gov:
- “All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.”
- “Profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume.”
But that’s not the bottom line. True, knowing these principals is an important factor for your growth, but applying them is even more important. In doing so, every small business should follow these four steps:
Decide the needs of their customers through market research
In order to identify trends that effect sales and profitability it’s important to conduct market research. This is done to determine local economic situations, population shifts, etc., and can be done easily and simply by giving customers and potential customers a questionnaire to determine satisfaction and dissatisfaction with your goods and services. Ideally, strong market research should also consider any competitors that you may have.
Evaluate their competitive advantages to develop a functional market strategy
Essentially, a market strategy should focus on unmet customer needs that provide adequate potential profitability. That is, a market strategy should aim to satisfy customer groups that your particular business could better serve, and tailor products, services and promotions to them. A solid strategy helps your business focus on the market that you can best service.
Select specific markets to serve by using target marketing
It is common that small businesses aren’t made of money, but successful target marketing can be aptly applied with little funding just by focusing on two key market segments.
- Geographical segmentation: Focusing on particular areas and specializing your service to its needs.
- Customer segmentation: Identifying particular groups and catering your services to a particular customer.
Concentrating your efforts in these two areas of target marketing will yield the most from any small investments you make.
Determine how to satisfy customer needs by identifying a market mix
A market mix consists of four areas: products and services, promotion, price, and distribution. They work together holistically and create a sturdy marketing program. For example, when determining which products and services you offer, by simply narrowing down what you sell and instead focusing on superior quality of service, you can increase profit. When mulling over promotion, make sure to have your best face representing your company. When deciding prices and how to maximize overall profit, hone in the right price for the services you offer for the area you have specialized your promotion to. And when considering distribution, use the internet whenever possible for the best price of any goods you may offer to your customer.
Remember, marketing is the most successful when it focuses directly on what the customer wants, and less so about what you may think that they want. Suiting the needs of your customer can help maximize your profit and help you to gain more customers.
For more information on marketing for your small business, contact us anytime.